Five Classical Elements (panch tattva) of Creation – A Perspective from Sri Guru Granth Sahib by Dr. D. P. Singh

Aug 2016

This research paper traces the genesis and development of Sikh Calendar art/Sikh Popular art which has systematically evolved into a full-fledged genre of Sikh art over the last three centuries as it draws inspiration from the Sikh religion, ethos, philosophical perspectives and glorious history of the Sikhs. The fountainhead of Sikh Calendar art is the pictorial narratives based on Janam Sakhis drawn by the artists engaged by the earlier preachers of Sikhism and it culminated into the formation of hand-painted pothis/manuscripts which had text as well as illustrations. This tradition further blossomed as more and more artists were engaged by devout followers of Sikhism to paint walls of shrines, thakurdwaras, deras, sarais, dharamshalas, akharas and havelis in the form of frescoes and murals to spread the message of Sikhism. With the arrival of art of miniature painting by the Rajas

Various religious philosophies the world over, although differ in many details, yet they all emphasize the basic unity of the universe, through the recognition of panch tattva as the basis of creation. Most of these philosophies agree that a continuous exchange between these basic elements life and the creation, helps to balance the ever ongoing cycles of creation and destruction. The existence of panch tattva, with their extraordinary qualities, makes us aware of the unity and mutual interrelation of all things. They help us to transcend the notion of an isolated individual self and to identify ourselves with the ultimate reality. In this article on panch tattva, a perspective from Sri Guru Granth Sahib is outlined.

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Dr. D. P. Singh, (born 1956) obtained M. Sc. Degree in Physics from Punjab University, Chandigarh in 1978. He was awarded Ph.D. Degree in Acoustics (Physics) by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar in 1986. He has about 35 years of experience of teaching degree classes at the college/university level in various colleges in Punjab, India and Ontario, Canada.

A well-known science populariser and environmental activist, Dr. D. P. Singh has authored 20 books till date. His books have been published by Language Department Punjab, Patiala; Punjabi University, Patiala; Punjab State University Text Book Board, Chandigarh; National Book Trust, New Delhi; Publication Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, New Delhi, and Singh Brothers, Amritsar.

Dr. D. P. Singh has also published about 100 articles on various aspects of Sikhism in several newspapers and magazines of English, Punjabi and Hindi. He has published ‘Science and Sikhism – Conflict or Coherence’ (in English) in 2015. He has published another book titled ;Dharam ate Vigyan (in Punjabi) in 2001, 2010 and two booklets; ‘Guru Nanak’s Scientific Attitude’ in 2004; ‘Dharam, Vigyan ate Vidiarthi’ in 2001; 2003. Four of his articles (on Sikhism) have been included in different books edited by eminent authors. He has reviewed five books authored by eminent Sikh scholars. His 30 Radio Talks on various concepts in Sikhism have been broadcast by Ajj di Awaz, Canada and Des Punjab Radio, Canada. His 50+ Talks on Sikhism, Science and Social topics have been telecast by Jhanjer T.V. Canada. These talks are also available as Youtube presentations on internet. He has delivered about one dozen invited talks on ‘Sikh Religion and Philosophy’, at various educational institutions within India and Canada.

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